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Why the Housing Settlement is Good News for Homeowners

State Attorneys General share their views on the landmark housing settlement.
President Barack Obama delivers remark on a landmark housing agreement (February 9, 2012)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks announcing the finalization of a $26 billion settlement between mortgage providers, state attorneys general and the Justice Department, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House, Feb. 9, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

On Thursday, the Federal Government and 49 states announced a $25 billion settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses.  The agreement provides substantial financial relief to homeowners and establishes significant new homeowner protections for the future. Several Attorneys General joined the Obama Administration for the announcement and shared their thoughts on the landmark agreement.

Attorney General of Arkansas, Dustin McDaniel

"This settlement will provide tangible benefits to struggling Arkansas homeowners in the form of principal write-downs and refinancing opportunities. This is an important means for holding the banks accountable for their bad behavior during the mortgage crisis.”

Attorney General of Colorado, John Suthers

“This agreement delivers real help to homeowners affected by the banks’ dual tracking and other improper mortgage- and foreclosure-related processes. As a result of this settlement, the banks will end a series of problematic processes that put homeowners at a severe disadvantage during the foreclosure process. This settlement will not solve every problem with the housing market, but it goes a long way to helping homeowners in distress now and leveling the playing field for consumers.”

Attorney General of Connecticut, George Jepsen

“As important as the financial relief, the settlement requires the banks to change the way they service distressed loans and it holds the banks accountable for what have become familiar abuses. For the first time, state attorneys general will have authority to monitor how federally regulated banks comply with the new servicing rules and to impose heavy penalties on those banks that fall short."

Attorney General of Illinois, Lisa Madigan

“After many months of investigation and negotiation, I’ve concluded that this settlement accomplishes two major goals: it provides timely help for struggling homeowners, and it establishes new rules for mortgage servicing that will protect homeowners in the future. While the settlement is a big step forward in our efforts, it is not the end. In Illinois, we will continue to take strong legal action against lenders, banks, servicers and others who contributed to the housing and economic collapse.”

Attorney General of Indiana, Greg Zoeller

"This national settlement offers immediate help to many people in Indiana and also allows an opportunity for the national housing market to recover from the crisis of 2008, hopefully sooner rather than later."

Attorney General of Iowa, Tom Miller

“This agreement is very significant in how it addresses the fraud that these banks committed against many homeowners across Iowa. This agreement not only provides badly needed relief to Iowa borrowers, but it also puts a stop to many of the bad behaviors that contributed to the mortgage mess throughout Iowa and across the country.  This agreement will protect homeowners and ensure they’re treated fairly.”

Attorney General of Maryland, Doug Gansler

“This agreement will provide direct, imminent, and significant relief at last to thousands of Maryland homeowners. It is a down payment and a first step toward lasting reform of the mortgage industry.”

Attorney General of North Carolina, Roy Cooper

“This agreement is about helping homeowners who tried to make good but were wronged.  Just as important, it looks forward by establishing a clear set of rules to make sure foreclosures are done correctly and fairly.”

Read more about the landmark agreement and watch the video of the President's remarks.